The Best Walking Shoes And Boots For Camping Trips
TOP TIPS FOR BUYING
1 Size up Bearing in mind your feet are likely to swell at least a bit when you’re walking (as well as wearing thicker socks than normal), make sure you select the right size.
2 Which way? Where you intend to do your walking – in terms of terrain – has a huge bearing on the type of boot to go for.
3 When? Likewise, any specific times of the year you intend to do your walking can have an affect on your purchase. In winter, for instance, keeping warm can be a higher priority.
4 Go for a walk Specialist walking boot retailers will always prove their worth in terms of experience and choice of product offerings.
FOR EVERYDAY WEAR
REGATTA SAMARIS II LOW
Expect to pay £54 (men’s)/£36 (women’s)
Snazzy colours aren’t the only thing that make these ideal for urban wear as well as general walking. The lining is Isotex – Regatta’s own waterproof and breathable membrane material – that’s been seam-sealed for extra waterproof performance. Sizes range from six to 12 for men, three to eight for women, with a separate four-colour choice for each. If you get the chance to try them on, you might notice extra toe space compared to some. Prices quoted here are from Regatta’s own website, at the time of reporting. They were initially £90.
Key features Mesh and PU upper with Hydropel water resistance, X-LT sole, Isotex membrane, EVA Comfort footbed, neoprene collar
FOR UP ON THE HILLS
Expect to pay £90
Trail walking? Fast hiking? More? This is the type of shoe for you, offering a level of comfort and sturdiness. The upper is a mix of suede and ballistic (ie harder wearing) polyester, with a Tri.aria membrane for waterproofing/breathability. The sole is from Vibram, the company that’s been making such products since 1937. It’s combined with Anatom’s own Bioform Ultralite insole and nylon footbed. Typical weight is 746 for a pair of size 10s. In men’s and women’s versions.
Key features Vibram Sky Running sole, Tri.aria lining, suede/polyester mesh upper, phylon midsole, heel cradle support system
FOR ALL TERRRAINS
Expect to pay £90
Look at that toe bumper. A clear indication that this shoe means business when it comes to protection. The EVA insoles are removable. They’re metatomical, too – Keen’s word combining metatarsal and anatomical, translating as excellent arch support and the way it cradles the whole foot. The stability shank, also, provides torsional control (ie prevents unwanted twisting). The suede and canvas upper combination promises extra breathability, too. It’s The also treated for extra waterproofness. A great all-round hiker. In sizes six to 13 (men) and five to ten, both with a choice of two colours. Made in Europe.
Key features Suede and canvas upper, compression-moulded EVA midsole, mesh lining, non-marking rubber sole
FOR SPORTY TYPES
MERRELL MOAB FST 2
Expect to pay £120
If you want to get places fast then the Moab FST 2 could be the shoe for you. Lighter than the previous – and hugely popular – Moab shoes, but just as comfortable and still loaded with features, these are designed for fast hiking on all terrains. The FST stands for Fit and Superior Traction, which tells you everything you need to know. The shoes have chunky outsoles with a 5mm lug depth, which means they should provide plenty of grip and stability on most underfoot coditions, even at speed. The Gore-Tex membrane repels moisture and enhances breathability while the bellows tongue keeps debris out. Antimicrobial agents are designed to reduce odour and for added comnfort, the air cushion in the heel absorbs shock.
Key features Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, leather and mesh upper, breathable mesh lining, Kinetic Fit insole contoured to your foot, Merrell Air Cushion in the heel, Vibram MegaGrip sole, weighs 772g
FOR ALL-DAY HIKING
BERGHAUS FELLMASTER ACTIVE
Expect to pay £125
New flagship shoes for this season, but using proven technologies like a Gore-Tex lining for full waterproofing as well as breathability, Vibram’s extra grippy four-section Opti-Stud sole and an OrthoLite footbed provide cushioning and support, and rubber protection at the heel and toe areas. Sizes are seven to 12, with a choice of Grey/Red or Brown/Orange colourings. Typical weight is 874g for a pair of size nines. Women’s equivalent is the Kanaga, in Brown/Grey, sizes four to eight, including halves.
Key features Nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram Opti-Stud sole, OrthoLite footbed, rubber heel and toe caps
FOR TOUGHER TERRAINS
MAMMUT ALNASCA LOW GTX
Expect to pay £129
Just what you need if your walking takes you over rocks and/or across scree. There’s a new generation of walking shoes sporting soles from Michelin (better known for its tyres, but maybe a rubber tread’s a rubber tread), and this is a tough example. There’s comfort, too, in details like the elastic tongue insert, which also lets you put these shoes on more easily. There’s also an extended Gore-Tex membrane for all-round water repellency and optimum breathability. Meanwhile, the 360 heel support envelops your heel bone, to give protection against twisting as well as rock abrasion. They look good in everyday use, too – in a choice of distinctive colours (shown here is the men’s Dark Radiant-Grey. Typical weight is 435g for size 8.5. Women’s and men’s versions are available.
Key features Velour leather and textile upper, Michelin Rock Tech OCX rubber outsole, Gore-Tex lining, TPU heel clip, rubber toe bumper, EVA Softech heel wedge
FOR COMFORT AMONG THE CRAGS
OBOZ BRIDGER LOW DRY
Expect to pay £130
One to consider if you’re going is getting tough. That sculpted sole with studding suggests superior grip, with extra protection from the rubber toe cap and heel. B-Dry is Oboz’s own waterproof system, using tape-sealed polyurethane bootie and a textile lining to wick away unwanted moisture. Another key selling point is the O Fit removable insole that comes with all Oboz footwear. It’s in three-layer EVA with arch support, heel cup and all-over cushioning.Typical weight is 907g for men’s size nines.
Key features Nubuck/textile upper, B-Dry lining, TPU chassis, dual-density EVA midsole, O Fit insole
FOR LATEST SUPORT TECHNOLOGY
AKU MONTERA LOW GTX
Expect to pay £135
Italian-made, AKU says the tread on the Michel soles was inspired by mountain bike tyres. These Montras also benefit from AKU’s Elica technology, which combines the sole layers to offer even distribution of pressure on the foot as well as lessening strain, with improved arch support, a more central load at mid-stance, and more. Uppers are in suede with an elasticated ankle collar. There’s an injected polyurethane midsole. Men’s sizes are three to 13, in a choice of four colours; women’s three to eight, with two colour choices.
Key features Suede upper with PU protection, Michelin Pulsar sole, Gore-Tex lining
FOR ALL-ROUND BREATHABILITY
HAGLOFS EXPLORE GT SURROUND
Expect to pay £150
What’s different here is the last bit of the name – the Surround offers all-round breathability, including via the sole. That, says the Swedish manufacturer, makes these the most breathable leather shoes it’s ever made. They’re incredibly comfortable, too. As well as the Gore-Tex lining, the OrthoLite cushioning also offers superior breathability. There’s also an EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) midsole with gel cushioning. The uppers also feature sued that’s audited for environmental-friendliness by the independent Tannery by Leather Working Group. Sizes are 6.5 to 12.5 (men)/four-eight (women), with two colour choices.
Key features Men’s and women’s versions, Gore-Tex Surround lining, OrthoLite cushioning, suede upper with TPU reinforcement, TPU heel counter
FOR ON THE TRAIL
HANWAG ROBIN LIGHT GTX
Expect to pay £150
Like many of the others in this small round-up, there are lots of variants of the model name. But, Light refers to Hanwag’s own Multifilm Light cushioned sole in a honeycomb structure. The upper is a mix of nubuck leather and Cordura, with a cushioned collar around the ankle. In male and female versions, although a German company, these Robin Lights are made in Croatia. Sizes six to 14, including halves, and four colour choices for men; 3.5 to nine and three colours for women. Weight guides are 730g (women’s size five)/890g (men’s eight).
Key features Nubuck and Cordura upper, Gore-Tex liner, lateral reinforcing seams, ghilly lacing
FOR KEEPING THINGS LIGHT
ANATOM V2 LOMOND
Expect to pay £100
Designed for women, these are decidedly light, at 990g for a pair of size 38s, ie UK five. They’re sturdy, too, though, with a calibrated nylon midsole for torsional (ie twisting) support and flex. Keeping it waterproof and breathable is Anatom’s Tri.aria micro-porous membrane The Lomond comes in European sizes 37-42. The men’s equivalent is the Vorlich, in sizes 41-47.
Key features Polyester/suede upper, Vibram Grivola sole, lifetime warranty
FOR ALL TERRAINS
KEEN TARGHEE III MID
Expect to pay £115
Perfectly comfortable (to me) hiking boots with waterproof qualities, these Targhees feature the company’s own KEEN.Dry breathable membrane, while features like the heel grip help overall stability. It also uses Cleansport NXT, a chemical-free system of odour control. Like other Keens I’ve worn in the past, going up half a size seems to give a better fit. Luckily, it’s a pretty full range, from six to 16, here (2.5-8.5 for women). There’s a choice of three colour finishes, too. Other Targhee variants are also available – wide, high-lace etc.
Key features Leather/mesh upper, removable insoles, internal shrank, injected TPU heel-capture system
FOR GENERAL HIKING
COLUMBIA TERREBONE MID OUTDRY
Expect to pay £140
The leather and mesh upper is complemented by a pigskin collar, with a Vibram Mont sole that’s designed to perform in cooler temperatures. The lightweight Techlite midsole promises more durable cushioning, enhanced impact absorption and energy return as you move, while the OutDry membrane has a waterproof exterior and soft, wicking fabric inside. These are now reduced to £70 (please note we usually quote manufacturers’ recommended selling prices in these articles, so there are nearly always opportunities for bargains). Sizes are 6.5-13 for men, 3-10 women. Made in Vietnam.
Key features Full-grain leather/mesh upper, Vibram Mont outsole, Techlite midsole, rubber toecap
FOR CLASSIC WALKING
OBOZ BRIDGER MID
Expect to pay £150
Oboz refers to its Granite Peak outer sole as “lightweight, aggressive”… anyway, it has a nylon shank, side lugs and 4mm directional lugs to the underside, all promising good grip and stability. The O-Fit insole comprises three different types of EVA foam. UK sizes are 7-13 men/3.5-8.5 women including halves, with a choice of four and three colours respectively. Typical weight is 459g for w women’s size seven. For every pair of Oboz boots purchased, the company makes a planting in the Trees for the Future scheme.
Key features Nubuck leather upper, Oboz B-Dry membrane, moulded rubber toe cap and heel counter
FOR PATHS AND TRAILS
LOWA LOCARNO GTX MID
Expect to pay £160
Another specialist with a long history (it made its first boots in 1923). Lowa says this boot is primarily for paths and trails, but also has some suitability for hill walking, hiking and trekking. So, a bit of an all-rounder. It also points out its “urban styling”. It certainly has plenty of positive features – including the manufacturer’s own Lowa-Monowrap construction with BynaPU midsole cushioning. Gore-Tex provides the breathable, waterproof lining. Plus, there’s Lowa’s trademark rubber edging (rand) that protects from damage and moisture. In women’s sizes 4-8 sand men’s 7-12.
Key features Embossed nubuck leather/fabric upper, Lowa Hybrid Trac rubber sole
FOR CLASSICS LOVERS
BERGHAUS HILLMASTER II GTX
Expect to pay £165
Coming up to a quarter of a century old and still looking good (of course, there have been tweaks along the way). If you prefer an all-leather upper, here’s a great benchmark. Expect some initial stiffness, but it soon gets supple. The seam-free upper bodes well for waterproof performance, although things might get a bit too hot in summer. Comfort in the tongue and collar are thanks to added memory foam, while there’s plenty of support. In men’s sizes seven to 14, women’s three to nine, with some halves. As a guide to weight, a pair of men’s size nines is 1,416g.
Key features Full-grain leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram sole, product lifetime guarantee
FOR LIGHTWEIGHT TREKKING
HANWAG BANKS II GTX Expect to pay £170
From the Bavarian bootmaker that’s been churning ‘em out since 1921, this Banks model has a lightweight leather and Cordura nylon upper, with a Gore-Tex membrane and Vibram Endurance sole. With features like the raised heel and tip, Vibram’s Endurance sole is designed for superior traction on softer ground such as forests and grass. It also provides full-length cushioning. In sizes 6-13 for men and 3.5-9 for women, including halves throughout, with a choice of four colours. Typical weight is 1,190g for a pair of size eights. Note also, Hanwag produces Wide versions of its Banks range (Narrow, too, for women), as well as specific boots for bunion sufferers.
Key features Leather/Cordura upper, Vibram sole, Gore-Tex lining, can be re-soled